On September 6, the Supreme Court of India decriminalized homosexuality by scrapping Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which was a big relief for the people of the transgender community.
Soon after, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai’s Deonar becomes the first campus in the nation to have a gender-neutral hostel. This means India is the first ever country to have one.
This was possible after the efforts by Queer Collective, an informal student union that asked for a safe place for LGBTQ+ students.
While talking to ANI, Akunth, who is a resident of gender-neutral hostel and the cultural secretary of TISS student union said that he is happy to have a gender-neutral hostel and urged other institutions to follow the same move to make hostels a gender-neutral place, hoping that this could lead to a positive shift in the society.
“It’s just like any other hostel. It is a place for everyone, but without the dysphoria of being segregated along the lines of gender. It is a liberal space,” said the first-year student at the institute.
The reports say that in the girl’s hostel of the campus, at least 17 students have moved into the ground floor, as it has been marked as a gender-neutral space. There are 10 twin-seater rooms on the ground floor that will host transgender, or gender non-conforming students, mentions the report. Apart from that, the gender-neutral washrooms are also available in the premises as well.
India is changing, for good.